WYD an economic boon

The Sydney Chamber of Commerce says World Youth Day will boost the economy by $230 million.

The Catholic Weekly reports the NSW Government expects the benefit to the economy from hosting WYD08 will be between $152 million and $193 million.

According to a briefing paper sent to clergy last week, as well as the immediate economic benefit from tourism and commerce, WYD will showcase Sydney and Australia in a way which it is projected will contribute to tourism and industry for decades to come.

"Almost all our leaders - of whatever religious and political affiliation - also recognise that beyond the hugely positive economic impact, there is great social value in offering young people spiritual values and ideals, hope and reason to celebrate," the report said.

The report says the Federal Government has committed $35 million to WYD08 and some services in kind, including visa processing for pilgrims.

"The NSW Government is not contributing cash but will provide vitally important services to help deliver the event including the provision of venues (including Randwick Racecourse), public transport for pilgrims, policing, sleeping accommodation at public schools and emergency healthcare," it said.

"No event of this size can be staged without the support and cooperation of the Federal and State Governments.

The report also said that the Church did not bid for WYD until it had "clear commitments of support from both governments."

"The total costs of WYD08 will depend on many factors with the most significant being the number of pilgrims who register to participate.

"Current projections indicate a total cost of approximately $150 million - excluding in-kind services provided by the governments and the Church.

"We expect around 70 per cent of this cost will be funded from pilgrims registration fees, the archdiocese of Sydney and other donors," the report said.

SOURCE

WYD a $230 mill boon to economy (Catholic Weekly 09/03/08))

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